Home Grand Valley State University Announces STEPS Summer Camp for Girls

Grand Valley State University is proud to be offering the 12th annual Science Technology & Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) Camp for Girls this summer. The Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing will be hosting the two consecutive weeks of camp on June 17-20 and June 24-27, 2013.

STEPS is an all-girl day camp introduction to the world of science, technology, and engineering. Program activities include designing, manufacturing, and flying a radio-controlled airplane. Students craft their own airplane using power tools, jigs, and fixtures with enthusiastic support from GVSU engineering faculty and students, community groups of radio-control airplane hobbyists, and other community volunteers. Each team of approximately 10 girls will be supervised and mentored by a female GVSU student. Each camp also includes unique field trips that can include tours through a turbine engine manufacturing plant, a private hangar, a biomechanics lab, and Fire Crash Rescue unit at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Another highlight is a short flight on a four-seat Cessna airplane out of the Ford International Airport. Campers also enjoy a number of recreational activities that can include swimming, climbing wall, chalk decorating, and a team challenge course. The week wraps up with a Fly Night Graduation ceremony where the girls get to fly the airplanes that they built at a sanctioned fly field in Allendale, Michigan.


A camper glues her tail assembly into place

Camp registration is open to any female Michigan resident, between the ages of 11 and 13, that will be going into the 7th grade in fall 2013. More information about STEPS, including a printable brochure and application, can be found at http://www.gvsu.edu/steps/. Applications are due March 11, 2013. Inquiries about the camp can be directed to Sara Maas, STEPS Director, at (616) 331-6025 or maassa@gvsu.edu.


A camper with her completed airplane


STEPS at GVSU is partially funded by the Alcoa Foundation, Alcoa Howmet  Whitehall Operations, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation, Michigan Space Grant Consortium through NASA, West Michigan Aviation Academy, Pioneer Construction, Charles W. Loosemore Foundation, and Amway Corporation. The success of STEPS is due in large part to the volunteers. Volunteer opportunities are open to anyone with education, science, technology or engineering experience. If you are interested in volunteering, check on-line at http://www.gvsu.edu/steps/volunteer-documents-1.htm to view the schedule and download volunteer forms.


A pair of campers checks out the cockpit of a fixed wing jet